My monster says I can’t

August 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm (Jordi) (, )

I don’t think anybody likes having to say “I can’t”. They’re certainly words that I struggle with. I say them a lot, and each time they’re laced with disappointment, with embarrassment, with anger and defensiveness.

Our society rewards toughness. We’re a culture of battlers, of perserverance. Take a Codral. Soldier on. Autoimmunes are the opposite of this. They demand quiet, stillness, rest. And the more you fight against this regime, the more sick you get.

My autoimmmune feels like I am carrying a monster on my back. Its talons dig into my shoulders. Its weight bears down on me, making everyday tasks just that much harder, and completely exhausting.

Image by Terrifying (deviantart)

Some days I can sleep for 12 hours and still wake up exhausted. Some days reaching above my shoulders feels like benchpressing 20kilos. Some days my brain is so mired in mud I can’t form cohesive sentences, let alone remember what I did yesterday.

It was this time last year that I first started displaying symptoms of my dermatomyositis. Then, I had no idea what was going on. Now, I am hypervigilant.

Everything is a balance. For everything I want to do, for everything I can do, I must also spend time with my AI monster.

I used to hate it. And I’d be lying if I pretended that every day I’m just peachy about this system. But I have realised that this monster is a part of me. This is life now, and its goal actually isn’t to ruin everything and kick me while I’m down. My monster is my protector. He tells me loudly and clearly when enough is enough. When I need to stop. When I need to rest. Because I sure as hell don’t listen otherwise.

I don’t know how long life will be like this. I am currently receiving IVIg treatment (cheers to all the blood and plasma donors!) which gives me a couple of weeks of feeling almost-normal, of feeling like the well of exhaustion that usually threatens to swallow me is securely sealed over. Maybe one day my monster will completely vanish. But even if he does, I know that hidden deep down in my immune system, he’ll always be a part of me.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Liebster Award Blog-a-thon

August 11, 2012 at 11:28 pm (Jordi) ()

The lovely Sam of An Online Universe pinged me as part of the Liebster Award Blog-a-thon. Apparently there are rules, for those of you concerned about such things:

  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to
  4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
  5. Go to their page and tell them
  6. No tag backs.

I’m really not such a stickler. So I’m not tagging any people – anyone who reads this is free, welcome, nay – even encouraged! – to respond.


Here is my Liebster participation (like I could resist a chance to talk about myself)…

11 things about me (and film):

  1. I bought The Lord of the Rings on DVD years before I owned a DVD player. Because I’m that obsessed.
  2. The last film I watched was Away We Go. It was rather gorgeous. I think I need to own it for myself.
  3. The first film I can remember seeing in a cinema was Beauty and the Beast.
  4. I’ve always avoided scary movies. As a child I dragged my mother into a screening of The Silver Brumby while the rest of my family saw Jurassic Park.
  5. The film I watched over and over and over again as a child was The Chipmunk Adventure. Pretty sure I can still quote it word for word.
  6. As a child my access to films was fairly limited and restricted. I didn’t see Star Wars until 2004.
  7. I shelve my DVD collection according to “mood”, refined by cover colour and/or year made.
  8. My favourite “mood” of film is what I call ‘beautifully fucked’ – titles like Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine Cleaning, (Chomet’s) The IllusionistRevolutionary Road.
  9. Two of the tiny country towns I’ve lived in have ended up on film, in The Dish and Strange Bedfellows.
  10. I believe my seen-in-cinema record is nine times, for The Return of The King.
  11. I generally try to avoid dairy, but a mint choc-top at the cinema is awfully hard to resist. Especially if it’s one of The Astor’s famous choc ices.

11 questions from Sam:

1. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Do you think I could get Emily Blunt doing an American accent? That’s just wishful thinking. Far more accurate would be Kate Winslet. In a fat suit.

2. What is your worst cinema-going experience?

I have fortunately managed to avoid anything particularly traumatic in-cinema. So my worst experience was when on one occasion a couple sat next to me (in an unallocated-seating and far-from-full cinema), and one half of the couple proceeded to explain the entire film. I asked three times before they actually stopped. By then the film was pretty much ruined for me – it was a comedy and with every punchline I’d tense up, waiting for the impending explanation.

3. Do you own a blu-ray player? If so, is it better? If not, why not?

There’s a blu-ray player in my house but technically it isn’t mine. I appreciate having a range of viewing options, but I’m personally not particularly fazed by resolution so I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy my own.

4. If you could attend any film festival in the world, which would it be?


5. Which three people in the film industry (living or dead) would you have dinner with if you could?

I may be bending the rules a little, but I definitely want Steven Moffat there. Ian McKellen. Hayao Miyazaki.

Image Image Image

6. Which book would you like to see adapted?

The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.

7. 3D – A fad or something that could be/is exciting?

Erm – both. I think it is currently a fad but I think it can be exciting… when a movie is actually filmed in 3D, and it serves a story purpose or adds something of value. Most of the time, though, this doesn’t happen.

8. Who or what inspired you to write about film?

I wouldn’t actually claim to write about film. There are so many wonderful voices out there already, a lot of whom I’ve discovered through Twitter, that I actually feel like I wouldn’t add anything new to the mix.

I was inspired to write for film by my amazing uni teachers and mentors – Felicity Packard and Matt Marshall. They introduced me to screenwriting and, more importantly, they made it click.

9. What is your most anticipated film for the 2nd half of 2012?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (It is just all about Tolkien with me.)

10. Which actor/actress automatically turns you off seeing a film?

Nicolas Cage is a bit or a warning sign for me. I am turned off by Angelina Jolie. And Kate Hudson.

11. What is the most overated classic film?

I can’t decide between Blade Runner and Rear Window

My 11 questions, for whomever wishes to answer them:

  1. What’s the last film that broke you (in either a good way or a bad way)?
  2. Rita Hayworth or Marilyn Monroe?
  3. What’s your favourite cinema that you’ve ever been to?
  4. Best movie soundtrack?
  5. Favourite Pixar film? (And why.)
  6. Which movie have you rewatched the most?
  7. Who is your favourite director?
  8. If you could rewrite/shoot the ending of any film, which would it be, and why?
  9. Do you collect any film-related merchandise? (If so, which films, and what merch?)
  10. If you had to work full-time at a cinema (anywhere in the world), which would you choose?
  11. Favourite five film blogs to read (besides your own)?

Permalink Leave a Comment

Melbourne Writers Festival

August 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm (Conferences, Writing) ()

ImageI’m totally taking a page (or more) out of Adele Walsh’s book (well, blog) to let you know that I’ll be out and about (shock horror) at the Melbourne Writers Festival’s Schools’ Program as part of my work at the Centre for Youth Literature. (Have I mentioned that I love my job? I love my job.)

There are many amazing children’s and YA authors on this year’s program, and you don’t have to be young to attend. (Also, all tickets are only $7. Bargain!) I’m honoured to be chairing the following sessions:

Tuesday 28 August, 10am
Book here apologies – it’s sold out!

READING INTO WRITING – Emily Rodda, John Larkin, and Penni Russon
Wednesday 29 August, 10am
Book here Sold out.

Wednesday 29 August, 11.15am
Book here

Wednesday 29 August, 12.30pm
Book here

Thursday 30 August, 10am
Book here

Thursday 30 August, 12.30pm
Book here Also sold out now! (Eep!)

So, if you’ve got any burning questions for Melina Marchetta, Emily Rodda, John Larkin, Penni Russon, or John Flanagan, let me know and I’ll endeavour to ask them.

Permalink Leave a Comment